Friday, October 16, 2015

Do I or Don't I ?

Calculator, Scientific, Numbers, Finance  Today and yesterday are both inservice days.  One of the inservices I attended looked at the new state tests.  You know the one that replaces our old SBA and graduation test.  They now have a virtual calculator available for students to use because they said they are looking at the process and not necessarily the student's calculational knowledge.

I understand keeping up with technology and what students usually do but I recently read an article that theorizes a change in the way most people do things.  Before all these digital devices you memorized so much information but now you don't have to remember it, you can just look it up on the internet. Even the state tests are moving more the way of using calculators rather than memorizing things. 

The article indicated that with instant knowledge at your fingertips, you are less likely to remember the information because it is easier to look up things.  Unfortunately, it means the brain does not work as effectively.  I remember some research that was done on a group of nuns who lived long lives.  When a nun died, they donated their brains to science.  What the scientists discovered was amazing.  These woman were busy learning new things, exercising their minds and just being active.  It turns out that these women's brains built new pathways and even the women who developed Alzheimer, developed a much milder form than normal.

Cool thought. So back to the quandary.    So if I switch over to letting them use the calculators more so they don't need to think about it, am I contributing to possible early Alzheimer's or something new where people reach a point of not being able to think on their own?  Tomorrow, I'll be back to reviewing apps, etc.